The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is interested in expanding its operations in Africa in the coming period, while the bank is helping countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, its President Odile Renaud-Basso said on Sunday.
Renaud-Basso made her comments during a virtual meeting held on Sunday with Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat to discuss areas of joint cooperation within the framework of the bank’s new 2021-2025 strategy and to evaluate proposed topics for annual meetings that will kick off on 28 June.
"Egypt can constitute a launching point for these [planned] expansion, as it is one of the bank’s largest countries of operation and has a strategic relations with the countries of the [African] continent," Al-Mashat said.
The minister added there are many opportunities for cooperation with the EBRD to implement projects that address climate change in Egypt, as these projects would represent an important aspect in Egypt’s 2030 vision.
She stressed that the state seeks to launch smart cities, protecting the coastal areas, and promotion agricultural development.
Al-Mashat also affirmed Egypt’s government support for the EBRD’s strategy that targets combating climate change and promoting green economy.
“Egypt is taking extensive measures to achieve a green and sustainable recovery by developing strategies to both combat and mitigate the impact of climate change,” said the minister.
The EBRD’s 2021-2025 strategy, which the bank approved in its annual meeting last October, focuses on three pillars, including supporting the transition to a green economy and promoting environmental sustainability; promoting equal opportunity through access to skills and employment for women and young people; and accelerating the digital transition.
In April, EBRD’s president paid her first official visit to Egypt since her election in October 2020.
During the visit, two MoUs and a development financing agreement were signed to support the Egyptian government’s and the private sector’s transition to a green economy.
In 2020, Egypt was EBRD’s largest country of operations in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, accounting for more than €1 billion financing 21 projects, accounting for 47 percent of the bank’s total investments in the region.
Egypt was also the largest country of operations for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019.
The current portfolio of cooperation between Egypt and the EBRD amounts to $1.3 billion.
Since 2012, the EBRD has invested over €7.2 billion to implement 127 projects.